“मां निषाद प्रतिष्ठां त्वमगमः शाश्वतीः समाः। यत्क्रौंचमिथुनादेकम् अवधीः काममोहितम्”
“You will find no rest for the long years of Eternity
For you killed a bird in love and unsuspecting”
This is considered to be the first śloka in Sanskrit literature. It is stated that Valmiki, on a fine morning, saw a Crane (bird) couple mating. He was pleased to see birds around him, when a hunter hit the male bird by an arrow and the male bird died on the spot. In rage and grief, his uttered these words which became the first śloka in Sanskrit literature. Later Valmiki composed the entire Ramayana the same meter that issued forth from him as the śloka. Valmiki is revered as the first poet – Adi Kavi, and the Ramayana – the first kavya.
The first śloka, widely cited in our cultural texts, was written by Valmiki when he felt the grief of two lovers separating from each other
Expression of love, moral policing against expression of love, and consequential social struggle to elevate against such moral policing – in combination – has been one of the strongest mechanisms of social evolution. However, the mid-agent of this sequence i.e. the moral police group remains the biggest barrier and threat to social evolution.
In most of the cases, moral policing is used as a tool, by groups or individuals, to drag society into some fixed structures –structures, in which these groups or individuals have grown, mushroomed, prospered – but they lose their identity outside the structure. Moral policing, in most of the cases, arises from personal and social insecurities of people.
On 3 February 2015, Hindu Mahasabha released this ridiculous statement:
Couples found celebrating the “foreign festival” in public will face a variety of punishments. While a prompt Arya Samaj wedding will be forced on Hindu couples, inter-faith partners will have to sit through a “shuddhikaran” (purification) ritual.
Chandra Prakash Kaushik, the Hindu Mahasabha President, said, “India is a country where all 365 days are days for love, why then must couples observe only February 14 as Valentine’s Day?”
It is not the first time that we are hearing such statements. In India, sex is usually treated as something which is much more than corporeal desires, and love is depicted as something more sacred than any other cosmic interference. The justifications given by these regressive goons revolve around cultural boundaries of the society – a boundary conveniently defined by goons who have nothing else to brag about in their life, or a cultural boundary defined by people who are so insecure about “ethos” of their spoon-fed next generations that they fear any kind of exposure breaking these boundaries.
One weird concern often raised is – “Would you like to walk with your kids and parents in a park where couples are getting too intimate with each other?” Seriously? Who defines the boundaries of intimacy? If a scene of couples holding hands, gifting roses, and kissing can have such a long-lasting “bad” impact on kids, the scene of goons beating up couples will have a worse impact. It will change the DNA of kids by forcing them to consider love nothing but a taboo, which suddenly becomes a blessing when they are married. Do we want to go back to the medieval ages? Is Saudi Arabia the ideal state for Hindu Mahasabha?
The other concern raised is – “Why must couples observe only February 14 as Valentine’s Day?” Do we observe Raksha Bandhan daily? Do we observe birthdays daily? If not, by the same logic, either we don’t love our sisters or we don’t care to acknowledge our existence daily.
It is sad to see that The Hindu Mahasabha which was established in 1914 for the education and economic development of Hindus have gone into the hands of people who are misusing it in the name of cultural structures.
It is shameful to see that the organization which was started by prominent educationist like Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (founder of Benaras Hindu University) has degraded as a political framework to define morality of the society.
During early 1900s, when women exploitation was a socially accepted behaviour, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya stood for social upliftment of women, supported widow remarriage, and opposed child marriage both for boys and girls. In his speeches and writings, he always talked about the equality of men and women in our society.
It is painful to see that an organization started by Pandit ji is becoming a disgraceful barrier against gender equality, spiritual enrichment, and moral evolution.
What should we expect next from The Hindu Mahasabha? Would they prescribe locations for honeymoon? Would they define a physical distance that a boy must keep with girls? Would they propose angle at which boys should make an eye contact with a girl?
I have just one request to the Hindu Mahasabha: if you respect your founder and care for Hindus, either change your ways or change your name. They are more offensive in my eyes than Valentine’s Day is in your eyes.